When you counsel, advise and serve others, remember that it is God’s work through you. I am so thankful to my Lord Jesus for teaching me lessons of humility as it relates to being insulted and slandered while serving in the church. God certainly looks out for us when He calls us to love and serve others and I am grateful for the eye-opening experience of His call to servanthood for other’s sake, despite the pain. God gives us grace and wisdom when being sharpened in the cogs of the ministry wheel. I praise Him for teaching me what it means to travel from anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane “Lord, take this away”, to “but not as I will, but as you will”. May His sacrifice, not mine, be respected and glorified for all to see if he calls me to carry the cross. It’s about the gospel, not me.
After learning lessons of humility, the storm dies down and there is a peaceful confidence for me that no one can take away, a humble rejoicing. I didn’t want to go through an unusual indescribable situation but now I am nothing and I realize the joy in that. Prior to my big lesson of over 15 years ago, I thought it was up to me and my gifting, but now I realize that Jesus works undercover and our work may be unseen for others and His sake. It’s not about recognition, but His redemption through the gospel.
“Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God…”. 2 Corinthians 3:4,5 ESV
“He must increase while I must decrease (John 3:30)” is learned in true humility. In counseling, this means to obey God and follow His will through the Word while voluntarily submitting to His direction in the truth of the Spirit. Other times this means over-extending ourselves, putting others first and not demanding justice when wronged. At first, when I learned this meekness, I was astonished with the constant humility and self-deprecation, as something odd were happening (1 Peter 4:12). But the blessing in a counseling session that involves being humble is a true joy because He is right along side me, and through me He allows me to bring Him forward and together we see Jesus in action for the counselee; a matter of the heart. That makes me rejoice and smile because it’s not about us, it’s about His life and His glory in the lives of those we counsel. When others try to make it “about us”, we need to remember that God is showing them humility by bringing us to our knees, together. (written January 29, 2011 at Westminster Theological Seminary, “Counseling in the Local Church” with Dr. Tim Lane.)